Launceston Driving School
Producing Safer Drivers!
The LDS Blog
|Posted on 26 October, 2020 at 5:00|
An Error That May Trash Your Driving Test!
Number #2 in a series – Cutting Corners!
Cutting the corner is a favourite past-time for many Tasmanian drivers. Do it on your practical driving assessment and it will probably earn you a big black cross on your PDA scorecard.
The position you take in preparation for making a turn, left or right, is so important. Many think it is just a case of wander up to the corner and if its safe, cruise around the corner, its OK to go over those solid white lines a little bit isn’t it?
Those solid white lines are effectively lane markers, and you do not cross over them when turning a corner. Where there are solid white lines marking the centre line of a road, for a right turn you will position your car parallel to, and immediately to the left of the white line. If you opened your car door, the white line would be right there beside your car.
Correct positioning will also help ensure there is enough road space to your left to allow another car to pass or turn left.
If you are turning left, your position will be to the far left of the road space. Some left turns have a ‘hard’ turn where the kerb forms an also 90-degree corner. Make sure you move forward enough (about half a car length) before you turn so your left rear wheel does not clip the kerb (little black cross) or worse, ride up and over the kerb (fail).
Where your left turn is softer, ensure you follow the line of the kerb and do not leave a large unoccupied area of road space to your left that may be taken up by a motor bike or push bike that has not seen your left turn indicator. It could get a bit messy if you turn onto them!
Where there are no white lines, use your imagination. As you approach to turn right you should have a pretty good idea where the centre of your road is. Your right turn should keep you to the left of the centre of the intersection at all times. You may not cross over the invisible centre line at any time.
If you are on a terminating road and wish to turn onto a continuing road, left or right, how close can you get to the road you wish to turn onto? This is something you can practise. On any suburban street where there are kerbs. If you follow the line of the kerb from your left it will eventually meet the line of the kerb from your right. That invisible line marks the boundary between the road you are on, and the road you wish to enter. You should get as close to that line without going over to maximise how far you can see in each direction prior to making that turn.
There are many solid white lines around Launceston. Around the city centre you will see Bicycle Lanes which are for bikes, NOT CARS! If you infringe on a Bike Lane white line once, just a little bit, you might get away with it, but if you do enough little bits, they accumulate, and you may need to book another PDA.
There are also white lines that create parking lanes on many streets. These look like bike lanes, and many bike riders use them as bike lanes – treat them all like bike lanes!
You can actually cross a bike lane but only if
• You are turning into a side street; or
• Turning into a driveway
And that’s it.
Be aware of solid white lines near roundabouts too, entering and leaving.
And in town, Elizabeth and Frederick Streets have great examples of bike lanes that double as parking lanes, that stop a few metres short of traffic lights at intersections. A few metres further on the solid white line associated with the traffic lights as lanes start, which leaves a gap of just those few metres between the lines to change lanes if you wish to turn left, or change lanes to pass a right turning car.
There-in is another issue. Many drivers illegally move left across bike lane solid white lines to line up for a left turn lane, or to avoid a car turning right – instead of changing lanes at the aforementioned gap. So, what happens if you use the gap to change lanes correctly, and collide with a car that has changed lanes early, illegally? You would have the law and the Tasmanian road code on your side but the inconvenience of having to get your car repaired etc.etc. would still cost you time and probably $ in lost income. It would be just as easy for you to do a Signals-Mirror-Head Check before changing lanes using that gap, and do not be surprised if you see a dual-cab ute that has jumped the gun!
How you position your car on the road is vitally important. You must obey any signs painted on the road – turn arrows, straight ahead arrows, Keep Clear signs, No Queueing Across Intersection signs and more. You must not cross solid white lines marking bike lanes, parking lanes and major road centrelines, unless turning into a side street or driveway.
If you have any queries about positioning or road signs, drop us a line or text us at Launceston Driving School on 0414749626, or visit our website – launcestondrivingschool.com.au
Tony at LDS
We love hearing from you, let us know what's on your mind